Symantec Releases 2011 Norton Cybercrime Report

Symantec, the makers of Norton antivirus and anti-spyware software, released a report today containing a plethora of statistics on cybercrime.

As with any report containing statistics and poll results, we should take some of it with a grain of salt, but the stats make interesting reading. The report is set out in infographic style, so its easy to skim through it. It points out the types of online behaviour that tends to be the riskiest.

The most common – and most preventable – type of cybercrime is computer viruses.

After that comes online scams and phishing.

What is surprising is the high percentage of people who say it is important to protect their computers, compared to the lower percentage who actually have the right software to protect it.

From the report:

This shows an emotional disconnect between what people think is important and what they’re actually doing to protect themselves against cybercrime. Often, because people feel the Internet is too complicated and the threats are unknown or ambiguous, they default to a learned helplessness where they simply accept cybercrime as part of the cost of going online.

Also, they cannot visualize online protection like they can offline security systems like a fence or alarm that act as a physical deterrent.

Good online security is like having a professional bodyguard. Discreetly in the background, but there to spot all signs of danger and ready to step in to protect you against the attacks you expect and those you were never aware of.

So it is worthwhile continuing to emphasize the need to have up to date anti-virus software on our work and personal computers, and to be cautious about scams and phishing.

Another interesting stat is that 25% of respondents said they had “digital regrets” about things they had posted online.



  1. Its interesting that only 25% of us have regretted something we’ve posted online. I’d expect (hope?) that 100% of us have regretted something we’ve done in real life, thereby making our online activities *safer* than real life.